Losing My Balance… and Finding It Again

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Remember that summer sabbatical I took from blogging? Well, we’re six weeks into fall now. And I’m the 38th the admit that this is getting a little ridiculous.

So in the words of The Real Slim Shady, I’m BACK!

I wish I could tell you my silence was caused by a new romance. Or even a pregnancy. But alas, I’m single and, as far as I know, sans baby.

The most uninteresting, boring thing has been happening, actually. You see, toward the end of summer, I started to get lost under a pile of work. But it was more than just my usual, annoying I’m-so-busy rant. I was finally reaching a breaking point where my work-life balance was dangerously close to tipping over to the right. And I’ll let you guess what was on the right side of that scale.

Bottom line: I had no life.

Good news is I love my job. But that’s not the point of this post. Everyone needs a life. Everyone needs personal time. Everyone needs some scribbling in a social calendar.

In September, work travel had me home for only four days out of the month. I had no time to recover from jet lag — let alone wash my dirty laundry — before flying into another time zone. It was exciting and exhilarating and outright exhausting!

I missed my friends.

I missed talking on the phone with my sister.

I missed sleeping in on Saturday mornings.

I missed reading books.

I missed going to church on a consistent basis. (Gulp.)

I missed going on a date once in a while.

This can’t be right.

So I set out to fix it in the only way I know how — with something big. Because really, what better way to put more life into your work-life balance than by buying a house?

Yep! I bought a little house on a hill in small-town New Jersey. It’s beautiful and old and smelly and full of remnants of animal inhabitants. In short, it needs a complete renovation.

And by complete renovation, I mean… well…

Renovation

Renovation 2

Renovation 3

I know what you’re thinking: How on Earth does this help with work-life balance? Follow my logic for a minute…

The only way this house will get fixed is by putting time into it. Which means stepping away from my desk and stepping into my overalls. (Figuratively speaking. Mostly.)

I love renovating old houses. There’s something beautiful and poetic about uncovering the hidden potential in something that others have forgotten. Of course, it’d be nicer to do with the Property Brothers by my side. (The contractor one over the realtor one, in my opinion. I like a man who can build stuff. But the first order of business would be getting rid of those highlights. I digress…)

So what if I’m single? I don’t plan to miss out on great things while I’m waiting around for a husband. This house is one of those great things. It’s a project. A home. A place where I can invite friends and family, host a small group, read a book, watch yet another Gilmore Girls marathon. It’s got a great front porch where I can’t wait to sit with a morning cup of coffee and God’s Word.

It’s a blessing. In disguise right now, fine. But I’ve found that blessings often come that way.

And somewhere in the midst of pulling insulation and tearing down sheetrock and finding yet another unwelcome critter, I’m beginning to feel the balance move to the left.

Millimeter by millimeter.

Nail by nail.

Sometimes it takes real work to get our lives back. But I’m finally ready to roll up my sleeves and do just that.

~Ruth

P.S. For those of you who’ve been asking, I now split my time between New Jersey and Washington, D.C. It’s not normal. But, then again, since when have I ever been normal?

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